Home Sports-Free High school baseball: Haughton in familiar position in 5A quarterfinals against Barbe

High school baseball: Haughton in familiar position in 5A quarterfinals against Barbe

Four years ago, the Haughton Buccaneers traveled to Lake Charles to face the Barbe Buccaneers in a first-round Class 5A game.

Haughton was the No. 31 seed. Barbe was No. 2 and the Calcasieu Parish Buccaneers had won three straight state championships. 

Nobody outside Haughton gave the Buccaneers from Bossier Parish much of a chance. The result? Haughton 2, Barbe 0 behind a memorable performance by pitcher Nick Heckman.

Flash forward four years. Haughton is headed back to Lake Charles for another battle of the Buccaneers.

This time, the situation is a bit different. First, it’s the quarterfinals. Second, it’s a best-of-3 series. Game 1 is Friday at 6 p.m. Game 2 is Saturday at noon. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday at 3.

Third, Haughton (28-8) is the No. 8 seed, and Barbe (35-2) is No. 1.

There is one thing that is similar to 2017. Haughton will again play the role of underdog. Pretty much any team facing Barbe now would, though.

The underdog role could work in Haughton’s favor. All the pressure is on Barbe, just as it was in 2017.

Barbe is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Baseball America. The Bucs won the 2019 state championship, their 10th overall. Last year no champion was crowned after the season was canceled about halfway through because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barbe and Haughton have only met once since the 2017 season. Barbe won 2-0 early in the 2018 season.

Barbe has allowed only one run and four hits in three playoff games. The Bucs defeated No. 32 Denham Springs 3-0 in the first round then swept No. 16 Alexandria in the second, 7-1 and 10-0.

Barbe has two pitchers who have signed with SEC schools — Jack Walker (Mississippi State) and Gavin Guidry (LSU). Another pitcher, Adam Guth, signed with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Walker pitched a no-hitter against Denham Springs. He allowed two hits and had 10 strikeouts in the 10-0 win against Alexandria. Walker is 12-0 with a 0.44 ERA in 63 innings.

Guidry pitched a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the 7-1 victory.

Of course, Haughton isn’t lacking for talent, either. Senior shortstop Peyton Stovall, an Arkansas signee, could be a high pick in the June MLB Draft. The four-year starter has 14 home runs on the season.

Stovall went 3-for-3 in Haughton’s 7-1 first-round victory over No. 25 Lafayette. The Bucs faced No. 24 Captain Shreve in the second round. After losing the first game 4-1, Haughton took the next two 7-0 and 4-1.

Haughton has gotten some outstanding pitching performances of its own in the playoffs.

Jacob Hernandez, Austin Anderson and Hunter Chavis limited Captain Shreve to one hit in the 7-0 victory. Caleb Brown allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings in the second game and Anderson none in 1 2/3.

Hernandez and Anderson held Lafayette to just two hits. 

Anderson also had three hits in Game 2 against Shreve and a home run in Game 3. Chase Keith had three hits in Game 2.

Haughton is making its first appearance in the quarterfinals since moving up to Class 5A in 2012. The Bucs last quarterfinal appearance was in 2011 in Class 4A.

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